January was all about perennial vegetables.The five perennial vegetables I focused on – Artichokes, Rhubarb, Fennel, Multiplier Onions and Lovage – were chosen because they were lovely as an ornamental, easy to grow and maintain, didn’t require a lot of resources, worked well within the landscape, and were abundant producers. The attributes of those five plants illustrate just a few of permaculture’s principles:
- Integrate rather then segregate
- Design from patterns to detail
- Obtain a yield
- Use and value diversity
- Use small and slow solutions, and
- Use edges and value the marginal
Something as simple as introducing perennial vegetables into our yard can create the shift into permaculture.
There are literally hundreds of perennial vegetables (and other edibles) out there to choose from, and it can be overwhelming. Some are easy to grow (multiplier onions), some are invasive and even considered weeds (dandilions), some take a little finesse and patience to get them established (asparagus) and some are exotic and obscure (ulluco). Personally, I like my plants easy. But, if you are interested in taking perennial edibles/vegetable gardening to another level, there are a couple of books on perennial vegetables that really delve into this subject:
If you’d like to take a closer look at permaculture, then you might find this website helpful: Permaculture Principles, at http://permacultureprinciples.